poverty

Jairo Gomez is 17 years old and lives in a tiny apartment in New York City with eight other family members. He has grown up in poverty, like one-third of all kids in the city. With WNYC's program Radio Rookies, Gomez tells the story of how poverty has held him back, and how he's trying to overcome it.

There are nine of us in my family, and we live in a one-bedroom apartment. I share a bunk bed with my sister Judy.

What if, the next time you went to the doctor, instead of a prescription for blood thinners you got one for cash? What if you walked out the door with $1,000 in your pocket instead of paying a copay?

Marcie Sillman talks to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, author of the new book "A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity," about the power of giving back.

Jeannie Yandel talks with James Morone, an urban studies and political science professor at Brown University, about the growing pains of young cities. 

We also hear from Pat Gray of Kent Hope and Kent resident Gregg Haffner about the plans for a 24-hour homeless shelter in the city. 

KUOW/John Ryan photo

A homeless camp has popped up on a busy sidewalk in Seattle’s University District. Members of the small tent community say 20 people live here.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Just off Aurora Avenue in North Seattle is a rather gray looking apartment building owned by Seattle Housing Authority.

Single mother Rebecca Snow Landa lives there with her two kids. She shows me around. "So this is our piano that we’re very proud of, and I’m teaching my kids to play."

In the first month of legal, recreational marijuana sales in Washington, two welfare clients withdrew cash at pot stores using their electronic benefits transfer cards in violation of state law.

Ross Reynolds talks with Andrew Lofton, Seattle Housing Authority executive director, about a new proposal that would change how tenants are charged for rent. Also, Marcie Sillman gets reaction to the proposal from Jonathan Grant, executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington State.

The Tangled Web Of Payday Lenders On Tribal Lands

Jul 30, 2014

David Hyde talks with financial consultant Shawn Spruce, a member of the Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, about the intersection of payday lenders and Native American tribes.

Payday lenders are increasingly situating themselves on tribal lands across the country to skirt state laws, ensnaring Washington residents. Many tribes are working to save their members from unscrupulous loans.

Flickr Photo/Blake Burkhart (Cc-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Bruce Stedman, Arlington's acting police chief, and Doug Honig, ACLU of Washington's communications director, about the city's strict new approach to panhandling.

How Trauma Affects The Brain Of A Learner

Jun 15, 2014

Our public media colleagues over at KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, have a fascinating two-part report on the efforts of schools in the Los Angeles area to address the effects of "toxic stress" on student learning.

There are 46 million poor people in the U.S., and millions more hover right above the poverty line — but go into many of their homes, and you might find a flat-screen TV, a computer or the latest sneakers.

And that raises a question: What does it mean to be poor in America today?

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The expression “starving students” is not just a cliché. It’s real.

Researchers call this situation “food insecurity,” and it’s a concern that affects schools across the country, including many in the Pacific Northwest. A recent study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that 59 percent of students at Western Oregon University were going hungry.

Much has been said and written about the Dust Bowl, but if you want to get a visceral feel for how it all began and the way it affected the people who experienced it, you need go no further than the opening pages of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath:

There are more than 4 million American families living under the poverty line today that are led by a single mother. Katrina Gilbert is one of those moms.

Gilbert is a certified nursing assistant in Tennessee. To support her three children, she sometimes works seven days a week at a nursing home. But at $10 an hour, her paycheck doesn't go very far.

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